One Year Later
Miranda takes the steps two at a time, trying to get to the entrance as quickly as possible. The last thing she wants to do is miss this. She'd never forgive herself, even though she knows that he would. Swinging the heavy glass doors open, she enters the main lobby and looks from side to side. Spotting a sign which points her in the direction of the conference hall, she makes a quick right. Following the next sign and taking a left, she spots the doors to her destination at the end of a long hallway. Her heels pad on the heavy carpet, muting the sound of her footfalls, as she gets closer to the double doors.
"I feel so weird doing this without her," Finn mutters, leaning against Vincent while he ties his shoe for the third time.
"Bloody hell mate, get over it already," Vincent groans. He steps away from his friend, causing Finn to almost lose his balance and topple over in front of everyone. Granted not everyone has focused their attention on Finn just yet, but he can still be seen. The young girl on stage is almost finished, wrapping up her reading quite slowly.
Glancing at the girl on the stage, Finn mutters, "I've heard this so many times, I'm thinking about slicing my damn ear off."
"Only if you give it to a prostitute," Vincent quips, making a snipping motion with his fingers at Finn's ear lobe.
He glares at his friend, batting Vincent's hand away, and rolls his sleeves up, "Did they turn the damn heat on or something?"
"Simmer down sweet tits," Vincent coos, moving behind Finn in the attempt to rub his shoulders. He would have succeeded if Finn hadn't kicked his foot back and caught Vincent in the knee.
"Bleedin' fuck!" Vincent shouts, grabbing at his knee, causing the reader to pause and the crowd to stare. Finn lifts his hand in a little wave, gesturing everyone to return to what they were doing.
"Prick," Vincent mutters under his breath.
"Hardly you wanker."
"Your hair looks like shit," Finn counters with a grin. Vincent had mistakenly allowed a girl he was 'dating' to cut his hair. Well, at least that's what he tells people. What really happened is that this girl got angry and took scissors to his head while he was passed out drunk. He ended up having to shave it all off to fix what she had done. It's a sore subject.
"At least I'm here. Besides, I'm a cunning stunt."
"That you are," Finn agrees with a nod.
"Mr. MacGowan, five minutes." Finn nods his head at the kid who gave him the time warning and turns back to Vincent with a nervous grin.
"Let's have a cuddle," Vincent says, grabbing Finn in a giant bear hug. Finn laughs, returning the embrace before pulling away. He leaves Vincent, retreating backstage to wait for the girl to finish up her last paragraph.
The conference hall is absolutely packed with press and average people who just wanted to hear some new material from upcoming authors. Finn pats his butt, feeling for the papers that are folded up in his back pocket.
"This next young author is a personal favorite of mine. Over the past year he has become the workshop's shining example of how a true writer works. I'm proud to have worked with him and can only hope that he'll dedicate his first novel to me," Brad Darries laughs at his own joke and continues, "He will be reading a portion of his story "She". So without further ado, Finley MacGowan."
The audience begins clapping and Finn grimaces. Brad was one of the people in charge of keeping the writer's in the workshop writing and the man took a liking to Finn. However, Brad drives Finn insane.
Finn walks out, shaking Brad's outstretched hand in passing. He gets up to the podium and drops his head to shield his eyes against the flashing bulbs. Reaching around, he pulls out the crumpled sheets of paper from his back pocket.
Laying the papers down in front of him on the podium, he flattens his hands against the wood. Looking up, he waits for the picture-taking to stop before speaking.
Taking a deep breath, he begins, "Thank you everyone. I don't want to bore you all before I bore you even further with my story, so I'll keep this short. The person who actually inspired the story isn't here tonight…"
Miranda slowly pulls one of the doors open, not wanting to disturb the reading, which she's sure is already in full swing. The second she opens it, she hears Finn's voice booming over the loudspeaker beginning his introduction. She grins when he mentions that she isn't there, loving the sadness in his voice.
Sliding inside, she allows the door to softly fall shut behind her as she scans the dimmed room in search. Spotting Vincent's shaved head in front by the stage, she follows the wall and walks along the side to where he's standing.
Quietly coming up behind Vincent, she makes a shuffling noise to alert him of her presence, not wanting to sneak up on the Brit and cause a disturbance. Vincent turns to look at her and pulls her to his side, hooking an arm across her shoulders. He brings his fingers to his lips and whistles, catching Finn's attention.
Finn's face brightens, a wide smile spreading across his lips, when he sees Miranda. She gives a little wave, which he doesn't respond too, probably not wanting to look like an idiot in front of a room full of strangers.
"Let's get this over with," he says in the microphone.
Two Hours Later
"That was bloody fantastic Finley!" Vincent shouts, slamming his palm down on the stained wood table.
Miranda smiles, nodding her head in agreement, "I'm so proud of you." She wraps a hand around the back of his head and pulls him in for a soft kiss. Vincent groans in annoyance from his chair and Finn laughs against Miranda's lips.
Lifting his head, Finn grins at Vincent, "Something wrong?"
"Something very well is fuckin' wrong. You two make my stomach roll. It's disgusting," Vincent shouts, a frown in place. He crosses his arms against his chest stiffly, glaring at the couple.
Miranda smiles softly, she feels bad for the guy. He's been having a…rough time being back in London. He got so used to living in America, he had forgotten the biggest difference between the two areas. Women. While he's still popular with the ladies, he is no longer able to rely solely on his accent to get him by. He actually has to try now. He's not finding it agreeable in the least, which is making him even more bitter about Miranda and Finn's relationship. She knows he means no actual harm from his complaining, she has a feeling that it's all just jealousy.
But Vincent is right about the read, it went brilliantly. Finn was received quite well by the public and he walked away with quite a few numbers. She couldn't be more proud of him. She couldn't believe that she almost missed it. She had gotten called back into work, some intern managed to mix up some things and panic ensued. It was hardly as life-threatening as her boss made it all sound. Really, all the guy did was accidentally send in next week's review for this week. She loves her job, but sometimes people can overreact a little.
A few months after moving to London, she got a job at a local magazine directed towards the youth. Vincent's father had some pull there and he got her an interview. She had quickly learned that Vincent's father has some pull just about everywhere in London. She had felt uncomfortable at first accepting his help, but she soon got over it. She needed the money and she was hired based on her own skills, all Vincent's father did was get her the interview. She basically gets paid to watch movies, listen to records, and read books. The job couldn't be more perfect for her. All she has to do is write up a review and take it in. She rarely has to actually be in the office, except for when people overreact.
"Wanna go home?" Finn mutters against Miranda's ear. Nodding her head, Miranda takes another sip from her coffee, silently hoping that they'll be stalled long enough for "Message in a Bottle" to finish. Finn wanted to play some old Devo song, but she won him over by suggesting The Police.
A man walks up to their table, ceasing the rant Vincent had started about blonds, and stops in front of Finn, smiling, "Hey…Finley right? Your story was fucking great man."
Vincent starts laughing and stands up beside the man, slapping his palm on the man's back, "Call him Bubbles if you want a personalized erotic story staring you. I've never been harder."
Vincent takes off before the man can say anything, leaving him with a rather confused and slightly disgusted look. Miranda thinks about saying something but keeps her mouth shut.
Finn still hasn't said anything in response to the man. Miranda glances over at Finn and nudges him with her elbow to get his attention. He jumps a little, not having expected her to elbow him. Frowning at her, he looks back to the guy and smiles, "Thanks. I'm glad you liked it. Want my autograph?"
At the man's blank expression, Finn starts laughing, "Kidding man."
Finn shakes his hand before the guy leaves. Miranda hides a smile behind her hand, thinking it adorable that Finn just experienced his first sighting. Turning his head, Finn catches her grin and sighs, "Don't say a word."
"I didn't say anything," she defends.
They sit in silence for a few seconds before Miranda just can't take it any longer. "You have a fan," she coos in Finn's ear.
"Shut up Rand," Finn chastises, standing from the table and pulling his wallet from his back pocket.
"Well that's what happens when you get famous you know," she says, "Hey, when you blow up huge, could you possibly get me in with a few people?"
"I will not blow up," he scolds.
"And what if you do? You're just going to hide in your room?"
"Works for Salinger," he points out.
"Salinger doesn't hide. Salinger squats with a rifle," Miranda laughs, standing up beside Finn once he drops whatever amount of money the bill calls for.
"Then I'll have to get a rifle."
"Well before you do that, could you make some introductions for me?"
"No," he says flatly, than mutters under his breath, "Where the hell did Vince go?"
"No? Why not?"
"You're an ass."
"Maybe, but you still love me."
"No I don't, I hate you."
"Only in a world in which everything means it's opposite," Finn counters, a wide smile on his face, obviously enjoying the banter.
"I'm not falling for that. You just want me to say I love you because it's supposed to mean the opposite, but once I say it, you'll change your mind about the opposite and I will have been stuck saying that I love you," Miranda rambles, her hands flying up to do some of the talking for her.
Finn heaves a great sigh, "And yet after all that, you realize that you just said you loved me twice."
Miranda's hands fly up in frustration and she immediately feels hands wrap around her wrists. Turning around, she sees that it's Vincent and pulls her wrists from his grasp.
"You know, I can spot that blond hair of yours from the fucking bathroom," Vincent taunts.
"Fuck off, I like it," she says assertively. About a month ago, she felt the need for a hair color change and dyed her brown hair blond. It was such a drastic change that she actually liked it a lot. Finn was a tad shocked when she walked into their flat, muttering that now he'll have to be attracted to blonds.
"We're going home Vince, what are you doing?" Finn asks, his arm wrapping around Miranda's waist and pulling her back against his chest.
"Not bleedin' hell going back with you tossers."
Finn laughs, "Okay, I'll call you tomorrow."
Vincent nods his head in response and heads to the bar. Finn pulls Miranda in the direction of the exit, bumping her a few times with his hip. She laughs and bumps back, feeling a little guilty when she bumps him right into a customer.
20 Minutes Later
"Hurry up," Miranda whines, bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Fiiiiiin…I gotta pee."
Finn laughs and purposefully tries the wrong key to unlock the door. She pinches his side until he relents and chooses the correct key, unlocking the door. She pushes him aside and runs to the bathroom, calling him a jackass in the process.
After she's done, she finds Finn stretched out on the couch, his arm flung over his eyes. She sits on his thighs and pokes him in the chest a few times. He grunts in response before reaching up and pulling her down to lay on top of him. She kisses his neck and rests her cheek against his shoulder, her fingers playing with his shirt sleeve.
"You're happy right?" she asks softly.
"More than I ever thought possible," his answer is immediate and in a tone that screams his answer should have been obvious to her.
She never thought that she would be living with Finn in London if someone had mentioned it to her a year or so ago. But after he left that day, she realized that she didn't want to be without him. She was never able to give him an answer. The flight attendant forced him to hang up his cell phone, cutting their call off. She had gone home, not knowing what she wanted. At some point during the drive, she realized that he was right about his fear of their relationship slowly dying if he left her. The second she got home, she called up her parents and told them that she was going to London.
She packed a few things, just what she really needed, and booked a flight for early the next morning. She didn't want to give herself too much time to be rational. Once she landed, she called Finn up and told him that he was right.
She's loved every second of living in London. It took some getting used to, she missed her friends and family, but more than anything she just wanted to be happy and Finn made her happy. She loves waking up in the middle of the night to find Finn writing beside her, she loves everything about living with him. They have their arguments, but that's normal. She even loves the arguments, well at least the make-up sex after the arguments.
She moves to get off of him but his grip tightens around her waist. She laughs and slides off of him slowly, forcing him to either let go or slide off the couch with her. He finally lets go. She gets up off the ground from where she landed, and practically hops over to the stereo. She's so insanely hyper, mainly because of how happy she is for Finn.
She flips through the CD cases on the shelf until she finds the CD she wants. Putting the CD in, she presses play, and turns around to glance at Finn. She doesn't say anything but just waits for the opening chords to begin. The second the music starts, Finn groans and sits up.
"You have to say it, you know it's true," she says, delving right into an old argument from the previous day.
"It's not. I would have found out about them on my own."
"Sure, when? How?" she asks, her hands on her hips.
"Sorry dearest. Sooner or later, I would have known about them."
"Bullshit. If it weren't for your genius girlfriend and her brilliant taste in music, you never would have known about The Frames," she says stubbornly.
"Vincent has a copy of Set List. See? I'd have learned of them through him," Finn points out, a triumphant smile in place.
Miranda laughs, "I burned that for him."
Finn's smile disappears, "You're a pain in my ass."
"Just admit it."
"What if I don't?"
"No sex tonight," Miranda throws at him with a smirk, knowing that she has him.
He sighs, standing up and moving over to her side. Reaching behind her, he skips ahead to play "Santa Maria" and turns it up. He takes her hand and pulls her out into the middle of the living room.
"Thank you for telling me of this wonderful band," he says slowly, smiling softly.
"You're so easy," she laughs. He doesn't answer, instead pulling her in closer to him and slowly moving with her to the music. She wraps her arms around him and kisses the side of his neck softly. His arms tighten around her as he quietly begins singing along, his mouth above her ear.
"Now if only you had the accent," she quips.
"Sorry, it's the best I can do at the moment love," Finn says sarcastically in a very bad Irish accent. She smiles against the side of his neck and relaxes in his arms.
"I love you," Finn mutters against her ear in the middle of the song. She smiles and lifts her head up to look him in the eye.
"I know," she says, wrapping a hand around the back of his neck and leaning forward to kiss him. The kiss is slow, each taking their time and enjoying the feel of the other. His hands roam down her back, over her butt and thighs, than back up to her sides.
Breaking the kiss, she smiles, "I love you."
"Of course you do. I wrote a story about you," he says, a cocky grin lifting the corner of his lips. She kisses that exact spot, loving how his smirk always seems to be endearing.
"What do you want to do now?" he asks her when she rests her head against his shoulder again.
"Have sex?" she asks.
He laughs, his chest shaking against hers, "Well yeah, in a bit, but that's not what I meant. I'm done with the workshop, I stayed longer than I planned anyhow, do you want to stay in London or go back?"
She opens her eyes and stares and the wall, thinking about her answer to his question. She doesn't know what she wants. She honestly doesn't really care. Actually, she doesn't want to go back, but she doesn't really want to stay in London. She loves London, but she wants to go somewhere else. Absently, she mutters, "Honestly? I want to travel."
"Any place in particular?"
"Well I've always had this theory that Ireland is filled with sexy charming men who have musical talent," she says.
Finn makes a clicking noise with his tongue. "You realize that in all likely-hood there are more Shane MacGowan's running, or staggering, about than there are these guys," he says, motioning towards the stereo with a finger.
"Well Shane's a very talented man," Miranda defends.
"Yes. Of course he is. He's just also not really a looker and I think a bit of a jackass."
"Johnny Depp gets along with him," Miranda says, holding back her laugh, knowing that she just got Finn started.
"That's cause Depp is a prick," Finn huffs. Miranda laughs, finding it wonderfully entertaining how Finn has a deep rooted bitterness held against the talented actor. Finn recently decided that Johnny Depp knows and knew all of the people that Finn himself would like to know and wish he knew. First he brings up the list of people. Than he brings up Depp's writing abilities and from than on he's lost to the world.
"He's probably having a late dinner with Salinger now…asshole," Finn mutters.
"You're cute," she says, looking up at him.
"I'm not cute. I'm fierce."
"Yes, my mistake. You're like a ninja," she apologizes.
"Damn right I am…so Ireland?"
"Well maybe. I do want to go there. But I want to go everywhere."
"Than we'll go to Ireland and decide what next from there," Finn asserts, a smile on his face.
Miranda nods, not really believing him, "Sure."
"I'm serious," he says, his hand coming up to palm her jaw. He lowers his head and kisses her softly, his tongue coming out to flick against the corner of her mouth. She parts her lips, allowing him entrance, and deepens the kiss. His hands roam back down to her butt, lifting and pressing her body into his. She vaguely registers his walking her backwards to the couch. In seconds, he lifts her up and drops her on the cushions. He follows her down, lowering himself on top of her, steadying himself on his elbows. Her legs immediately part and wrap around his waist.
Leaning down, he drags his tongue up her neck and she laughs, "Giving me a tongue bath?"
"Oh yeah," he says flirtatiously. He begins sliding down her body, stopping at her waist before unbuttoning her jeans and sliding the zipper down, "First, tongue bath. Second, lots of sex."
"You perv," Miranda says, laughter evident in her voice.
"When it comes to you, definitely."
She runs her hands through his hair while he contents himself with nibbling along her belly. Watching him with a smile, she wonders if she'll end up marrying him. Things have been going so well that it's hard to believe it could ever get better. She would like nothing more than to travel around the world with her best friend and lover.
"What about school?" she asks absently. Once arriving in London, one of the first things she did was get herself in a college. Traveling the world wouldn't really factor into that.
"In which setting could you ultimately learn more?" Finn asks, not looking up from her stomach.
"Well it depends on what I'm learning," she says, trying to keep the laughter at bay when he starts to tickle her sides.
"School won't be going anywhere," he insists, looking up at her, his chin resting above her bellybutton. "I know you well enough to know that without a push, you don't do what you want. If you want this, we're doing it Miranda."
"How do you do that?" she asks in amazement, her fingers still playing in his unkempt hair.
"Always say the perfect thing. How do you know me so well?"
"One rule of writing: People watching. I've spent many hours watching you. You can't hide anything from me," he says arrogantly.
"I find that sweet, even though I should find it unsettling," she laughs.
His hand slide up her sides, pushing her shirt up, causing the picture of Crispin Glover on her chest to crumple and disappear. She arches her back, helping him pull it completely off. His fingers find the clasp at the front of her bra and quickly unclips it, all while he casually begins listing off some other rules of writing.
"Rule number five: Fingers must be warm," he says while his warm hands massage down the side of her breasts.
"Rule number six: Always best to have a nude woman by your side," he mutters before he leans forward and follows his fingers with his mouth.
She moans under his touch, half laughing at his asinine rules, finding it a rather entertaining combination. He slowly trails up her chest, leaving her breasts to kiss up her neck. He nibbles along her jaw and up to her mouth, dropping a quick kiss before lifting his head.
She breathes in deeply before nodding her head in confirmation, "Ireland."
AN: Thank you so much to everyone who has stuck with me on this. It took me a while to get this out, but I've just been so busy lately with school and I didn't want to push it out to quickly. As it was, I ended up semi-pushing it out anyway.
References: Wow I just got really sad thinking that there will be no more of these.
Message in a Bottle - The Police (my favorite song this week)
Devo (nothing much better than those sexy hats)
Santa Maria (song), Set List (live album) - The Frames (an amazing band from Dublin, Ireland. I decided to put some talk of them in here because I just recently saw them in a club and they were amazing. I recommend them so very highly. Seriously, everyone who is reading this, looking them up and listen to some of their stuff. I used Santa Maria because it's beautiful. But pretty much all of their music is beautiful.)
Thank you again to everyone. I've been thinking about possibly writing a spin-off story focusing on Vincent's character since people seemed to respond the most to him. It would be fun to write something about his life in London and his difficulty with the British ladies. He's such a fun guy to write and obviously Miranda and Finn would have to make cameos. I'm not saying this is set in stone, I've just been pondering it. But if any of you think it's a good idea, let me know. It may make me write the story.